Trap Door Theatre presents…



Written by Joan M. Schenkar

Directed by Emily Lotspeich

Thursday, August 20, 2015 – Saturday, September 26, 2015


Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 pm

$20 on Thursdays and Fridays; $25 on Saturdays;  Special 2-for-1 Admission on Fridays

 $25 on Friday, September 25, 2015 for talk back with director Emily Lotspeich and her collaborators with wine and cheese reception to follow.


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Cast: Mary-Kate Arnold, Antonio Brunetti, Skye Forte, Diane M. Honeyman, Leslie Ruettiger


From the very beginning, with Little Red wringing the birdie’s neck so she can put it in the little gift basket for her grandmother, Joan Schenkar’s The Universal Wolf strikes a different cord in this highly theatrical rendering of the famous Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. As the play progresses, the things are getting only weirder since one inversion of the original follows the other—the innocents are not so innocent after all, the aggressors turn into victims themselves, the horror becomes funny, the fun becomes scary. In The Universal Wolf, Schenkar has created a truly menacing, unpredictable and unstable world where all our expectations are turned topsy-turvy; the play is a provocation and an invitation for a revisionist reading of the famous fairy tale.


Joan M. Schenkar (Playwright) is American playwright and author born in 1952 in Seattle. She has an ABD in English and American literature and aesthetics. Over 500 productions of her work have made it to the stage, radio and video around the world. Her work has been produced at such theatres as The American Place Theatre, The Public Theatre, Theatre of the Open Eye, W.P.A. Theatre, St. Clement’s, La Mama Hollywood, Studio 17, HOME, Theater for the New City, Horizons Theatre, The Changing Scene, King’s Head and The Gate (London), and at numerous colleges, universities, and theatre festivals in North America and Western Europe. She has been playwright-in-residence for many universities and theatre companies, and was the founder and artistic director of Force Majeure Productions in New York City. She has received more than 40 grants, awards, and fellowships for her writing. Some of her best known plays are Signs of Life, Cabin Fever, Burning Desires, The Last of Hitler, Fulfilling Koch’s Postulate, Family Pride in the 50s, Mr. Monster and Bucks and Does. She lives in Paris and New York City.

Emily Lotspeich (Director) is thrilled to be making her directorial debut at Trap Door Theatre with Joan M. Schenkar’s The Universal Wolf. Emily is no stranger to the Trap where she is a company member and Literary Manager. She has appeared there in Ken Prestininzi’s AmeriKafka, Caridad Svich’s 12 Ophelias and Ruth Margraff’s Anger/Fly. She has assistant directed their productions of Prestininzi’s Beholder and the twentieth anniversary’s celebratory remount of R. W. Fassbinder’s Blood on the Cat’s Neck. In addition to Trap Door, Ms. Lotspeich has worked with Prop Thtr, Silent Theatre Company, Polarity Ensemble Theatre and Cornservatory. She moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University where she received her BFA in Theater. Emily originally hails from Cincinnati, OH where she attended The School for Creative and Performing Arts from 4th to 12th grade. She looks forward to many more years of creating with her amazing Trap Door Family.

Stage Manager Landon Henry / Set Designer Nicholas Jackson/ Lighting Designer Richard Norwood / Costume Designer Rachel Sypniewski / Sound Designer Mike Mazzocca/ Makeup Designer Emily Lotspeich / Assistant Director Mike Mazzocca / Fight Choreographer Kirk Anderson / Graphic Designer Michal Janicki



Thank you 

to all our supporters who’ve contributed to our new heating/AC system! 


We still need your help to raise 


We’d like to keep our patrons cool during the summer while we continue to bring you some of the hottest theatre in town! 

All donations are tax deductible.

 If you are able to support us in this very important request please send a check to:

Trap Door Theatre 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622 773-384-0494

Or make a donation online by following this link.

Thank you!


Can’t make it to the show but want to support the theatre anyway? Leave your legacy behind! With your donation of $100, your name will be engraved on the seat of your choice at the Trap Door Theatre and reserved for you when you attend a show!

Donations can be mailed to:

Trap Door Theatre

1655 West Cortland Ave.

Chicago, IL 60622


Trap Door is proud to receive two Joseph Jefferson Awards this year!

Kevin Cox for Best Actor in a Principle Role and Rachel Sypniewski for Best Costume Design, both for last season’s production of La Bete. Congratulations and thank you for your hard work, dedication and talent!




 Time Out Chicago

Recognizes Trap Door as one of the best storefront theatres in the city!

 Trap Door Productions presents its first


Time Out Chicago recognizes Trap Door as one of the best storefront theatres in the city!

Congratulations to Trap Door's Kevin Cox, Rachel Sypniewski, and Danny Rockett for their recent Jeff Award Nominations for their work in La Bete and Cookie Play!

Trap Door Theatre welcomes new company member Casey Chapman!

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